The Confused Christian’s Guide to the General Election

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This article The Confused Christian’s Guide to the General Election appeared today in CARE’s online election guide.   Click on the above link to get the original….

I’m glad that we don’t have the tradition in the UK church of members of congregations asking their pastors, ‘how should I vote?’   If I was asked I wouldn’t know what to say, other than pray and make your own mind up!

Confused and Disenfranchised

The trouble for me as an ordinary Christian and citizen of this great nation is that I feel as though I am both confused and disenfranchised.  I have my own political opinions but I find myself struggling to decide how to vote.  Even as I write I am sitting with my postal ballot in front of me and don’t yet know what I am going to do.   I am a political geek – I even read party manifestos and watch political interviews and I will do an all-nighter on June the 7th/8th.  But even so I still struggle.

Voting for an MP?

In Britain we have a parliamentary constituency system, not a presidential one.  So first of all I am voting for someone to be my local MP.   My choice is limited because only four candidates are standing – two of whom have no chance of getting in. One is a from a party I would normally vote for but recently they have adopted polices which I disagree with and I am not overkeen on the MP’s somewhat scandalous behaviour.  The other is from a party I have an emotional and traditional aversion to, but that is surely not an intelligent and rational response?  And yet how many of us vote from traditional, tribal and cultural perspectives?

Voting for a Prime Minister?

So perhaps I need to think of the wider picture.  Am I going to vote for May, Corbyn, Sturgeon or Farron to become Prime Minister?  The latter two of course have no chance and I can see weaknesses and strengths in both of the others.  Besides I really do not like turning our democracy into a personality contest.

Voting for a Party?

So what about policies? Can I decide that way? For me the main concerns are Brexit, the economy, justice, defence, poverty, the NHS, liberty, education, immigration, religious freedom, the family and the right to life and liberty.   None of the parties ticks all the boxes for me, so I now have to decide which are more important.

But here is the real rub – I don’t really think there is all that much difference between the parties.   I don’t know the personalities well enough to make a judgement based upon any kind of real knowledge and in terms of most things I find that the political parties are all much of a muchness.  From a Christian perspective they are all socially liberal and economically capitalist.  I cannot help but feel that none of them are facing up to the long-term realities our nation faces.

The Core Issue

Our rejection of God and his law has led us into a confused mess where our finances, welfare system, NHS and education are all under great strain and may buckle.  Politicians can offer financial solutions (without any real way of paying for them) but they dare not face up to what has happened.  As the basics of our society, family, justice, Christianity and its values, have been undermined, so our communities have become increasingly fragmented.  We are materially rich and spiritually poor.  Which one of our leaders is going to admit to that?  And if they don’t recognise the core issue, how can they effectively deal with the resulting problems?

How am I going to vote?  I still don’t know…but I will pray for our politicians and the whole United Kingdom.  Lord, have mercy and forgive our foolish ways..

David Robertson
St Peters Free Church
Associate Director Solas CPC
Dundee
www.theweeflea.com

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Who Can I Vote For? – The Agony of Democracy in 21st Century Britain.

Who Can I Vote For – Part 2 – The Personalities.

Who Can I Vote For? – Part 3 – Who Would Jesus Vote For?

10 thoughts on “The Confused Christian’s Guide to the General Election

  1. Don’t vote, and write “Anti-Christian and anti-life policies” across the ballot paper. Or, even more effective, write that across the ballot paper and vote for the least worst. There will then be a discussion between all candidates about whether it is a valid vote or not, and your viewpoint will have been registered in the heads and hearts of those standing in your constituency.

  2. I think for me the question is
    who loves this country ? Who loves God?
    Who will undermine our security and Christian heritage?
    Who will support it actively with a generous heart without hidden agendas?
    I am sure there are many other questions !
    For me these are enough
    As the Times editorial said
    Wake up, smell the coffee , and vote Conservative

  3. I am intrigued by the mentality, “My choice is limited because only four candidates are standing – two of whom have no chance of getting in.”

    If nobody could see the potential virtue of voting for a deserving candidate who was unlikely to win, I wouldn’t get any votes at all, for a start, and the main parties would tend to assume that a low turn-out at elections was the result of voter apathy, rather than disappointment (if not sheer disgust) with the main party candidates. Nothing would ever change for the better, if everybody was as blind as David claims to be, to the possibility that it might be righteous to vote for a loser.

    I’d have thought David at least would see the point of sometimes voting for a good fringe candidate on principle, rather than always tactically, for the less of two evil hopeful candidates.

    I take comfort in this: I’ve never received zero votes. But Jesus did, when the other candidate was Barabbas.

    John Allman
    Christian Peoples Alliance candidate for North Cornwall
    http://JohnAllman.UK

    1. Dear John,
      Having stood in Twickenham in 2015 (Christian Party), and in Richmond Park in 2016 (Christian Peoples Alliance), I agree with what you say. I know people of all Christian denominations and none who chose to vote for me, even though I was never going to win (barring a miracle) because of what I stood for, regardless of that.

  4. Dominic,
    As soon as you write anything on a ballot paper other than a cross (or perhaps a tick) in one of the boxes you are deemed to have spoiled your ballot paper. There won’t be any discussion about whether or not it’s a valid vote.

    1. I’m sorry, you’re wrong. I have twice been a candidate, and all such papers are discussed. Some are counted as votes even though something is written on them, if they have a clear vote on them. Fact.

      1. That is my experience too. This is my fifth parliamentary election. Every single ballot paper that might have to be counted as be spoilt, or which might be salvageable, is examined, by all the candidates and the acting returning officer, and unanimity is sought for who, if anybody, a vote has been cast.

  5. I’m unsure whether I’m in the right frame of mind, but I get a bit despondent when there seems to be so much duplication in Christian circles. It has been mentioned by one commentator in this series that there are excellent resources on the election on the Christian Institute website, which, at first blush seems to CARE. I know both organisations have worked together in the past in Scotland, so perhaps this is a joint effort as well. There is a search on the site to show how Westminster MP’s have voted for example on SSM.
    There is also an excellent link to a lecture by Mike Reeves on the theology of Owen, courtesy of Ligonier Ministries.

  6. Christians must alway pray, read, listen, pray some more then vote who they feel lead by the Spirit to vote for—and we best hope that we are really listening to the Spirit verses the press, our friends, family, media and even pastors for that matter.
    It is hard…sorting out voting—particularly when those we vote for do not possess much of a Christian nature or that they themselves are being lead by the Spirit but rather by politics and personal agendas—
    I really hate how so many of the African American churches always mix politics in the pulpit—it becomes bit of a righteous whip up of all things political—this in a country that claims its pious separation of church and state…when the pastor tells a congregation to vote a particular way—that pastor has just taken on a grave responsibility and his or her motives may not always be the most pure—-so you have many blindly going about voting because the pastor told them to do so—-
    Then I can remember back to when I was a young teacher….our school superintendent would always make the rounds to the schools during election time. He was an ardent Democrat with a heavy dose of good ol boy southern politics—-he’d tell all his faculties as to why we should vote for the current democrat of his choice—I really resented that as I was much more conservative in my thoughts and his folks usually played fast and hard…
    It’s such a mess….and only getting messier with our rapidly changing times and value system…or perhaps that is lack of value system

  7. I ‘m on holiday in GB, but outside the UK. Consequently I’m unable to vote, despite a complaint to the Electoral Commission. I’ve therefore. largely avoided TV Party Electoral broadcasts, except one for the SNP .
    Boys will be boys and girls will be boys unless they are Tory., was the message that I gleaned from it. Trite, tripe, even without touching on inequalities, socially, educationally, financially.
    Surprisingly, but thankfully, there there was not even a hint of a subliminal message of TIE ideology – it was so stereotypically boy and girl .
    Perhaps , I got it completely wrong and the real message was that if you vote Tory you’ll get mixed-up mal -adjusted kids, who don’t know whether they are boys or girls.

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